ARC’s comprehensive program consists of multiple meeting formats that include things like personal sharing, open discussions, educational presentations/documentaries, tool-teaching, and guest speakers. We aim to give our members a variety of options to choose from so that our meetings stay fresh and interesting, which keeps our members coming back in the future.
This part of our meetings is a chance for members to “let out” what’s on their mind and to share with the group any recent issues, challenges, or successes they’ve had without being judged, ridiculed, or frowned upon.
Note: Interruptions/cross-talk is not allowed during this period.
Our discussions generally include:
- Topics and issues that are brought up by group attendees during ‘Sharing’.
- Common topics or issues in the field of addiction and recovery, brought forth by the facilitator.
- Topics from articles, books, or other material.
Note: Cross-talk is encouraged in this portion of the meeting.
Facilitators of ARC often perform presentations for members on a variety of topics. These include educational talks about:
- The science of addiction, recovery, and mental health. E.g. “The Biology of Addiction”, “Risk & Protective Factors for Addiction”, etc.
- Dispelling myths about addiction and mental health. E.g. “You need to hit rock bottom in order to recover”, “Addiction is a choice”, etc.
- Addiction controversies. E.g. “Is there such thing as an addictive personality?”, “Is addiction a disease?”, etc.
ARC also shows a variety of addiction-related documentaries & videos at meetings, which are followed by a discussion on topics that were presented in the videos.
Some of our facilitators engage in teaching various tools and techniques that have been proven to help individuals struggling with substance use and/or addictive behaviours. These involve helping members learn about:
- Challenging negative thoughts
- Combating urges
- Using mindfulness
- Gaining confidence/self-esteem
- Being assertive
- Dealing with emotions
- Finding meaning and happiness in life
The tools used by ARC are taken from a variety of sources, including those from other groups and programs, those from prominent researchers and writers in the field, and techniques used in several forms of therapy such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), etc.
ARC aims to bring various guest speakers to our groups on a regular basis to share with members their experiences, knowledge, and wisdom on addiction and mental health issues. Some of the types of speakers we have are:
- Those with long-term sobriety
- Addiction counselors
- Community workers
- Motivational speakers